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dartvader

i have a strange question related to guitars... that i believe involves scienece :) (i think)

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Im a pretty serious musician i think and was wondering if anyone out there could help me out :) i use some chapstick (lipbalm) and i put it on very edge of the last fret of my fret board (mainly the last string) so i was wondering does anyone know if the molocules can grab ahold of the string too cool the string down? It does certinaly help, so i was wondering if any1 could give me some ideas if this does work or not or if im just full of my self haha thanks :)

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im a pretty fast player i also pick notes alot too is it possible that the string could heat up the chapstick a little bit? cause after a while i can smell the smell from it

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yup, it could. it doesn't take much heat to end up with a bit of aroma with flavored wax.

Edited by davidivad

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yup, it could. it doesn't take much heat to end up with a bit of aroma with flavored wax.

thanks man! i had a feeling lol :) i just have to re apply it after every 2-3 songs then

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i would also consider that as it softens, it travels up the string too and spreads out a bit probably requiring more

Edited by davidivad

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Im a pretty serious musician i think and was wondering if anyone out there could help me out :) i use some chapstick (lipbalm) and i put it on very edge of the last fret of my fret board (mainly the last string) so i was wondering does anyone know if the molocules can grab ahold of the string too cool the string down? It does certinaly help, so i was wondering if any1 could give me some ideas if this does work or not or if im just full of my self haha thanks :)

 

Why do you put it on in the first place? Why only the last fret and the last string?

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Why do you put it on in the first place? Why only the last fret and the last string?

well it helps keep the guitar in tune cause im such a hard player (i use a whammy bar) :) also might put it along the whole last fretboard area if this helps a ton for live playing also

Edited by dartvader

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well it helps keep the guitar in tune cause im such a hard player (i use a whammy bar)

So... the lip balm reduces friction on the strings and frets which might otherwise heat and stretch the strings, making them out of tune, is that right?

 

also might put it along the whole last fretboard area if this helps a ton for live playing also

Have you experimented with this before?

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So... the lip balm reduces friction on the strings and frets which might otherwise heat and stretch the strings, making them out of tune, is that right?

 

Have you experimented with this before?

Yeah it does help because for the longest time i used to put it where the string rides on the guitar tremolo area "Saddles" (keeps the low e a d g b strings in tune pretty well just had a problem with the high e) i think it acts as a cooling for the strings :)

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I would think that the chapstick would act as a lubricant and therefore lower frictional losses with the fingers rubbing the strings and fretboard, therefore less heat.

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I would think that the chapstick would act as a lubricant and therefore lower frictional losses with the fingers rubbing the strings and fretboard, therefore less heat.

Yeah man it deffintaly does help ide like too see how it does on a stage though, I think it mainly goes out of tune when i pick the strings though (mainly the high e) i was even thinking too put some of the chapstick on the pick maybe it would help? not sure havent tried that yet :P

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Sounds like the fastest way to kill the strings. and crap up the guitar. That stuff will get pressed into the windings and kill the tone.

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Sounds like the fastest way to kill the strings. and crap up the guitar. That stuff will get pressed into the windings and kill the tone.

 

Just out of curiosity - would that really crap up the guitar and kill the tone. Violin strings must get clogged with rosin from the bow (well the wound ones will [i love the sound of that phrase]) and the tone of violin remains fairly constant.

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I thought metal strings stretched when new and often go out of tune until they've broken in. I have no idea what the chapstick could be doing to keep the strings from stretching, except for possibly reducing heat caused by friction. I wouldn't think it would be that noticeable.

 

How much chapstick are we talking about here, is it a visible layer? StringJunky mentions the tone of the strings and it seems like anything that stays on the string would have an effect on the tone as it vibrates.

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Just out of curiosity - would that really crap up the guitar and kill the tone. Violin strings must get clogged with rosin from the bow (well the wound ones will [i love the sound of that phrase]) and the tone of violin remains fairly constant.

Elixir strings have a very thin plastic-type covering (name escapes me) and they last months compared to 2-4 weeks with uncoated. The reason is that crud can't get in between the windings to damp winding interfaces that rub against each other and give that chimey metallic sound. A guitar is plucked and released; the tone is reliant on the sustained freely vibrating note. A violin bow is in constant contact and drawn so it naturally kills that sustaining metallic ring characteristic of guitars. I don't think that 'ring' is an expected feature of violins. I think of bowed instruments as dry and earthy compared to guitars with metal strings.

 

 

I thought metal strings stretched when new and often go out of tune until they've broken in. I have no idea what the chapstick could be doing to keep the strings from stretching, except for possibly reducing heat caused by friction. I wouldn't think it would be that noticeable.

 

How much chapstick are we talking about here, is it a visible layer? StringJunky mentions the tone of the strings and it seems like anything that stays on the string would have an effect on the tone as it vibrates.

Putting anything on the string alters it's mass and especially in various random amounts along the string will adversely affect it's vibrational charcteristics and tuning ability. Chapstick dries semi-waxy and apart from gunking the strings up will collect in the fretboard/fret joints. If the OP wants slick then I suggest Elixir Polys.

Edited by StringJunky

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i have a stratocaster which i use furniture polish rags on to clean it.

i wonder if this will mess anything up over time.

i figure this is a good place to ask as i see at least one player here.

hopefully this isn't too far off topic.

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i have a stratocaster which i use furniture polish rags on to clean it.

i wonder if this will mess anything up over time.

i figure this is a good place to ask as i see at least one player here.

hopefully this isn't too far off topic.

Most furniture polishes and car polishes etc contain silicone which can migrate into the finish over time (lacquer and paint) and you can't remove it unless you Nitromors the whole paint lacquer job off. You have most likely put silicone traces over it with your rags. This is not a problem until and if you want to repair a damaged area with new finish; the wet finish will probably 'fish-eye' like in this image:

 

post-14463-0-66204500-1419201730.png

 

 

Believe it or not, the solution is to add some pure silicone to the paint\lacquer before spraying! I've put silicone on my hand-built guitar in ignorance but I don't care ...it can wear it's scars and still make music. :) Unless your instrument is or is potentially a museum piece carry on with your rags!

 

Knowing what I know now and if I got a new guitar, I would just use warm water with a bit of pure detergent, wipe the whole thing down free of grease marks, let it dry it off and buff to a shine with a clean soft cloth on the glossy bits. At the end of the day, the finish is the protection and doesn't need another layer of stuff that is only going to turn into a gunky layer. I'd also lemon-oil the fretboard sparingly every year or two.

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thanks stringjunky.

that was very informative.

i will continue my method with the strat.

i'm planning on getting a less paul as a present for hours of practice.

i will definitely use your water and detergent method.

much thanks. :)

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well guys i got back from band practice tonight (my high e went out of tune during second song) slapped a little bit of the chapstick on the high e and i had no problems with tuning! woohoo X)

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well guys i got back from band practice tonight (my high e went out of tune during second song) slapped a little bit of the chapstick on the high e and i had no problems with tuning! woohoo X)

 

Theorising is one thing - but you cannot beat a bit of empiricism.

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I thought metal strings stretched when new and often go out of tune until they've broken in. I have no idea what the chapstick could be doing to keep the strings from stretching, except for possibly reducing heat caused by friction. I wouldn't think it would be that noticeable.

Just noticed that my answer to this part disappeared for some reason in my other post. Steel strings don't stretch significantly enough at the tensions applied on a guitar, which is about 20-25lbs, to cause tuning issues. Initial tuning instability is a function of how tight you first wrap the strings around the tuner posts. The less slack you leave when you wrap the quicker the strings settle down. The only place where I can see chapstick being possibly useful on a guitar is to lubricate the nut slots at the end of the neck so the string doesn't bind and get intermittently stuck when tuning. I personally rub soft B pencil lead dust into the nut slots because graphite is an effective and dry lubricant; less messy.than greases or oils.

Edited by StringJunky

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The only place where I can see chapstick being possibly useful on a guitar is to lubricate the nut slots at the end of the neck so the string doesn't bind and get intermittently stuck when tuning. I personally rub soft B pencil lead dust into the nut slots because graphite is an effective and dry lubricant; less messy.than greases or oils.

 

These are the holes in the tuner pegs that the strings slip into, these nut slots? I can see the usefulness of graphite over anything sticky in this application, but I'm still not clear why you want the string to be lubricated in the nut slot. Isn't the idea of the nut slot to grab the string tight so when you twist the tuner pegs, the string is tightened or loosened for tuning? It seems like you would need a better grip on the string to keep it in tune, not a more lubricated grip. Is there a piece of this mechanism I'm missing? How does a string bind and get intermittently stuck as it's being twisted around a tuning peg?

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These are the holes in the tuner pegs that the strings slip into, these nut slots? I can see the usefulness of graphite over anything sticky in this application, but I'm still not clear why you want the string to be lubricated in the nut slot. Isn't the idea of the nut slot to grab the string tight so when you twist the tuner pegs, the string is tightened or loosened for tuning? It seems like you would need a better grip on the string to keep it in tune, not a more lubricated grip. Is there a piece of this mechanism I'm missing? How does a string bind and get intermittently stuck as it's being twisted around a tuning peg?

 

The nut is the white string guide at the end of the fretboard. Putting pencil lead in the slots before stringing reduces friction there.

 

tuning_3.jpg

Edited by StringJunky

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The nut is the white string guide at the end of the fretboard. Putting pencil lead in the slots before stringing reduces friction there.

 

Ah, that makes sense. You'd want the strings to slip easily in the grooves.

 

Except naming it "the nut", that makes no sense. The nut sounds like it should get tightened. String guide, prime fret, "the comb", these I could understand. The nut?!

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